Explosion on The Potomac – The 1844 Calamity Aboard The USS Princeton. By: Kerry Walters. The USS Princeton, in 1844, was the most technologically sophisticated warship in the world. Its Captain, Robert Stockton and the President, John Tyler both formidable zealous expansionists, hoped that the USS Princeton would be the forerunner in a steam-powered fleet. While cruising on the Potomac, the ship’s gun exploded. Eight died, along with two cabinet members and an endless number r injured. The tragedy set off an unpredictable wave of events that cost Tyler a second term. and nearly scuttled plans to add Texas to the Union. Award winning author Kerry Walters chronicles this little-known disaster that altered the course of the nation’s history. Softbound. Pgs. 128. Book measures aproximately 6 inches wide X 9 inches high.